The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 57

it is an
absurdity.

_P._ [_Referring to my notes._] You _did_ say that "divested of
corporate investiture man were God."

_V._ And this is true. Man thus divested _would be_ God--would be
unindividualized. But he can never be thus divested--at least never
_will be_--else we must imagine an action of God returning upon
itself--a purposeless and futile action. Man is a creature. Creatures
are thoughts of God. It is the nature of thought to be irrevocable.

_P._ I do not comprehend. You say that man will never put off the body?

_V._ I say that he will never be bodiless.

_P._ Explain.

_V._ There are two bodies--the rudimental and the complete;
corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly.
What we call "death," is but the painful metamorphosis. Our present
incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is
perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design.

_P._ But of the worm's metamorphosis we are palpably cognizant.

_V._ _We_, certainly--but not the worm. The matter of which our
rudimental body is composed, is within the ken of the organs of that
body; or, more distinctly, our rudimental organs are adapted to the
matter of which is formed the rudimental body; but not to that of which
the ultimate is composed. The ultimate body thus escapes our rudimental
senses, and we perceive only the shell which falls, in decaying, from
the inner form; not that inner form itself; but this inner form, as
well as the shell, is appreciable by those who have already acquired the
ultimate life.

_P._ You have often said that the mesmeric state very nearly resembles
death. How is this?

_V._ When I say that it resembles death, I mean that it resembles the
ultimate life; for when I am entranced the senses of my rudimental
life are in abeyance, and I perceive external things directly,
without organs, through a medium which I shall employ in the ultimate,
unorganized life.

_P._ Unorganized?

_V._ Yes; organs are contrivances by which the individual is brought
into sensible relation with particular classes and forms of matter, to
the exclusion of other classes and forms. The organs of man are adapted
to his rudimental condition, and to that only; his ultimate condition,
being unorganized, is of unlimited comprehension in all points but
one--the nature of the volition of God--that is to say, the motion of
the unparticled matter. You will have a distinct idea of the ultimate
body by conceiving it to be entire brain. This it is _not_; but a
conception of this nature will bring you near a comprehension of what it
_is_. A luminous body imparts vibration to

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
Hear the mellow wedding bells, Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! .
Page 1
Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten golden-notes, And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells-- To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! [Illustration: The Bells] III.
Page 2
Hear the tolling of the bells-- Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats .
Page 6
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice: Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-- Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-- 'Tis the wind and nothing more.
Page 11
They are my ministers--yet I their slave.
Page 14
[Illustration: Ulalume] Our talk had been serious and sober, But our thoughts they were palsied and sere-- Our memories were treacherous and sere-- For we knew not the month was October, And we marked not the night of the year-- (Ah, night of all nights in the year!) We noted not the dim lake of Auber-- (Though once we had journeyed down here), Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber, Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
Page 15
And I said--"She is warmer than Dian: She rolls through an ether of sighs-- She revels in a region of sighs: She has seen that the tears are not dry on These cheeks, where the worm never dies, And has come past the stars of the Lion, To point us the path to the skies-- To the Lethean peace of the skies-- Come up, in despite of the Lion, To shine on us with her bright eyes-- Come up through the lair of the Lion, With love in her luminous eyes.
Page 16
Of late, eternal Condor years So shake the very Heaven on high With tumult as they thunder by, I have no time for idle cares Through gazing on the unquiet sky.
Page 17
But he grew old-- This knight so bold-- And o'er his heart a shadow Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado.
Page 19
Away--away--'mid seas of rays that roll Empyrean splendour o'er th' unchained soul-- The soul that scarce (the billows are so dense) Can struggle to its destin'd eminence,-- To distant spheres, from time to time, she rode And late to ours, the favour'd one of God-- But, now, the ruler of an anchor'd realm, She throws aside the sceptre--leaves the helm, And, amid incense and high spiritual hymns, Laves in quadruple light her angel limbs.
Page 22
head-- Such as the drowsy shepherd on his bed Of giant pasturage lying at his ease, Raising his heavy eyelid, starts and sees With many a mutter'd "hope to be forgiven" What time the moon is quadrated in Heaven-- Of Rosy head that, towering far away Into the sunlight ether, caught the ray Of sunken suns at eve--at noon of night, While the moon danc'd with the fair stranger light Uprear'd upon such height arose a pile Of gorgeous columns on th' unburthen'd air, Flashing from Parian marble that twin smile Far down upon the wave that sparkled there, And nursled the young mountain in its lair.
Page 23
gushing music as they fell In many a star-lit grove, or moon-lit dell; Yet silence came upon material things-- Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings-- And sound alone that from the spirit sprang Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang: "'Neath the blue-bell or streamer-- Or tufted wild spray That keeps, from the dreamer, The moonbeam away-- Bright beings! that ponder, With half closing eyes, On the stars which your wonder Hath drawn from the skies, Till they glance thro' the shade, and Come down to your brow Like----eyes of the maiden Who calls on you now-- Arise! from your dreaming In violet bowers, To duty beseeming These star-litten hours-- And shake from your tresses Encumber'd with dew The breath of those kisses That cumber them too-- (O! how, without you, Love! Could angels be blest?) Those kisses of true Love That lull'd ye to rest! Up!--shake from your wing Each hindering thing: The dew of the night-- It would weigh down your flight; And true love caresses-- O, leave them apart! They are light on the tresses, But lead on the heart.
Page 25
A maiden-angel and her seraph-lover-- O! where (and ye may seek the wide skies over) Was Love, the blind, near sober Duty known? Unguided Love hath fallen--'mid "tears of perfect moan.
Page 29
] Not long ago, the writer of these lines, In the mad pride of intellectuality, Maintained "the power of words"--denied that ever A thought arose within the human brain Beyond the utterance of the human tongue: And now, as if in mockery of that boast, Two words--two foreign soft dissyllables-- Italian tones, made only to be murmured By angels dreaming in the moonlit "dew That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill," Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart, Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought, Richer, far wilder, far diviner visions Than even seraph harper, Israfel, (Who has "the sweetest voice of all God's creatures,") Could hope to utter.
Page 30
Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness--for then The spirits of the dead, who stood In life before thee, are again In death around thee, and their will Shall overshadow thee; be still.
Page 31
How it hangs upon the trees, A mystery of mysteries! _ISRAFEL_ And the angel Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the sweetest voice of all God's creatures.
Page 32
birds, Are lips--and all thy melody Of lip-begotten words-- Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrined, Then desolately fall, O God! on my funereal mind Like starlight on a pall-- Thy heart--_thy_ heart!--I wake and sigh, And sleep to dream till day Of the truth that gold can never buy-- Of the baubles that it may.
Page 33
Not all the power is gone--not all our fame-- Not all the magic of our high renown-- Not all the wonder that encircles us-- Not all the mysteries that in us lie-- Not all the memories that hang upon And cling around about us as a garment, Clothing us in a robe of more than glory.
Page 35
And I lie so composedly, Now, in my bed, (Knowing her love) That you fancy me dead-- And I rest so contentedly, Now, in my bed, (With her love at my breast) That you fancy me dead-- That you shudder to look at me, Thinking me dead;-- But my heart it is brighter Than all of the many Stars in the sky, For it sparkles with Annie-- It glows with the light Of the love of my Annie-- With the thought of the light Of the eyes of my Annie.
Page 38
'Twas sunset: when the sun will part There comes a sullenness of heart To him who still would look upon The glory of the summer sun.